Dakar Rally Stage 5: Al-Attiyah strikes back, Loeb hit with penalty

Nasser Racing's Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah won Stage 5. Picture: Patrick Hertzog / AFP.

Nasser Racing's Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah won Stage 5. Picture: Patrick Hertzog / AFP.

Published Jan 10, 2024


By: Double Apex

The fourth stage of the 2024 Dakar Rally delivered a fifth winner in as many days, including the prologue. Read more about the stage here. 2024 Dakar Stage 5 was a short, 118km timed special in the empty quarter that ended near Shubaytah. However, crews had to travel almost 530km on open roads before arriving at the start line in the dunes of the Empty Quarter.

The odds-on favourites to take the stage win on Wednesday were Nasser Al-Attiyah (Prodrive Hunter) and overall race leader Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Overdrive Toyota). Both men are adept at reading the conditions of the dunes and choosing the fastest way over.

Tuesday’s stage winner, Sebastien Loeb was at a slight disadvantage opening the stage. In essence, he had no tracks to follow so navigation was tricky, which cost him time. The Frenchman was dropped even further down the order when he was slapped with a 15 min time penalty for missing a waypoint within the stage.

Click here to learn more about the SA-built Hilux race machine.

Al-Attiyah and Al-Rajhi topped the timesheets through the checkpoints heading for the stage finish. Their biggest challenge came from the Overdrive team drivers Juan Cruz Yacopini and Guerlian Chicherit. Mattias Ekstrom was, once again, the fastest of the Audi trio. The leading Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Lucas Moraes had a rollover in the stage. He was upside and had to wait for help to get his steed back on its fee,… wheels. This cost him valuable time today.

First Stage Win for ’24

When all the challengers were back at camp it was Al-Attiyah who set the quickest time of the day. He was followed home by Chicherit and Yacopini.

Al-Rajhi was fourth ahead of Guillaume de Mevius. Giniel de Villiers was, again, the top-finishing South African, this time in sixth place. That made it five Toyotas in the top six. Incidentally, this is Al-Attiyah’s first win behind the wheel of a Prodrive Hunter, bringing the number of constructors with which he has won at least one Dakar stage to seven.

Still on Top

Al-Rajhi lost time to his Qatari rival today, but maintains his overall lead in the race. The Prodrive Hunter driver is now in second place, having taken time out of Carlos Sainz during this stage. Ekstrom remains behind his teammate. Mathieu Serradori (CRT) also made up time today and climbs the leaderboard. While Moraes and Loeb move downwards. De Villiers remains the top placed SA driver in 11th overall.

Overall Standings after 2024 Dakar Stage 5

  • Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Overdrive Toyota) 17 hr 24 min 04 sec
  • Nasser Al-Attiyah (Prodrive) +9 min 03 sec
  • Carlos Sainz (Audi) +11 min 31 sec
  • Mattias Ekstrom (Audi) +22 min 58 sec
  • Mathieu Serradori (CRT) +31 min 00 sec
  • Stephane Peterhansel (Audi) +34 min 12 sec
  • Vaidotas Zala (X-Raid) +37 min 07 sec
  • Guillaume de Mevius (Overdrive Toyota) +41 min 51 sec
  • Sebastien Loeb (BRX) +43 min 03 sec
  • Lucas Moraes (Toyota Gazoo Racing) +54 min 47 sec

* This article originally appeared on Double Apex and is used with their permission.

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